New Team Offers Best Start at Home for Stroke Patients

Stroke patients in Forth Valley are benefitting from a new range of services, which include being able to undergo rehabilitation at home with the same expertise that they would receive from a specialist team in hospital.

The Stroke Transition and Rehabilitation Team (START) is made up of nine members of staff including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a therapy assistant practitioner, speech and language therapists, dietitians and neuropsychology staff and is supported by a consultant from NHS Forth Valley’s stroke service.

Close working between the Stroke Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the Bellfield Centre at Stirling Health and Care Village is already making a difference in terms of how long people need to stay in hospital.

According to Heather Fraser, AHP Co-ordinator for the Rehabilitation Hub in NHS Forth Valley, patients are reporting very positive outcomes from the new service. She explained: “Some people are pleased to be on the road to recovery in their own home where they are familiar with where everything is, rather than trying to re-adapt to doing simple everyday tasks in a hospital setting.

“Some of the more subtle effects of a stroke, such as poorer eyesight and communication difficulties, can be very hard to overcome in an unfamiliar environment so most people are very keen to leave hospital when they realise they can access specialist stroke care and rehabilitation services at home.”
Patients who have experienced a stroke are given information explaining how the START service works and the range of therapies and support now available at home

NHS Forth Valley’s Stroke Service delivers stroke and TIA care (Transient Ischemic Attack) to the local population of more than 305,000 people. Each year around 500 people are admitted to Forth Valley Royal Hospital with acute stroke and a further 200 attend the outpatient TIA service.